Apple Applies for Patent on Wireless iPad Charging via Smart Cover

Apple has applied for a patent for an interesting take on wireless charging, allowing a Smart Cover with embedded battery to recharge the iPad (discovered by AppleInsider).

ipad_smart_cover_inductive_charging

At first blush, Apple's invention, aptly titled "Integrated inductive charging in protective cover," appears to simply be a first-party incarnation of upcoming products that use inductive charging to transfer power to an iOS device. These components usually incorporate an induction coil and transformer that outputs power via a cord plugged into the device's dock connector. Apple's patent filing describes something different.

Instead of sourcing power from a stationary dock, Apple's invention calls for a tablet case, or more specifically an iPad Smart Cover, to hold the inductive power transmitter. In some embodiments, an internal battery is disposed within the case, basically creating an "on-the-go" wireless charger.

Wireless charging efficiency relies on close proximity between the transmitting and receiving induction coils. Apple's existing Smart Cover magnet system uses magnets with alternating polarities to ensure a precise alignment of cover to iPad, a pairing that would help optimize the charging system.

The system would automatically charge the iPad when the cover is closed, with the cover itself being charged conventionally by plugging it into a power source via USB, although Apple notes that solar cells could also be incorporated into the cover.

Apple has had a long-standing interest in various forms of wireless charging, but the technology has yet to make its way into the company's mobile devices. Just last week, a report suggested that Apple may be introducing wireless charging the iPhone as soon as this year, although it seems like a relatively unlikely addition for the iPhone 5S.

Alongside last year's introduction of the new Lightning connector, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller downplayed the importance of wireless charging, although Apple executives have been known to dismiss certain features only to introduce them in future products.

As ever, we note that Apple applies for patents on a significant number of ideas that never make it into production, but wireless charging is growing in popularity and it seems likely that Apple will introduce it at some point in the future.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

flottenheimer Avatar
143 months ago
Nice.
But what I'd much rather like is for Apples standard headphones/ear-plugs to become wireless. That would be a killer feature for me. I hate those tangling white wires.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aidan5806 Avatar
143 months ago
How innovative!!!


That would give me about 5 minutes more of battery life.

Lol - damn cover wouldn't even stay on with that weight.

Seriously this is the next big thing?

Actually if you look at the volume of the smart cover's space for battery cells, you could probably get at least a couple of hours out of a battery packed Smart Cover. And if they implement their capacitive LCD or solar Smart Cover patents, this could become one of the most functional cases ever.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nope7308 Avatar
143 months ago
So instead of plugging in the iPad, you have to plug-in the iPad cover? And this is more convenient how?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
143 months ago
So it's simply an extended battery in a cover...

Still having to plug & unplug and attach extra things to your device, this sidesteps the benefit of induction charging completely.

If they're not going to do a simple charging pad, then the connector should at least be MagSafe.
First no HD capability then..., Lightning really seems like an expertly executed, ill-fated misstep.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blackbear219 Avatar
143 months ago
This thread is full of /facepalm
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thewinelake Avatar
143 months ago
I don't get it

This sounds a bit odd to me.

Why would one want to pack an inductive charger *with battery* into a cover? After all, you take the cover around with you. It might make some sense if the cover contained solar panels.

So how do you charge the cover up?

Mmmm, on second thoughts, the more useful thing might be if the cover acted a bit like a "reserve tank" or battery extender. When you charge the iPad, that drives the induction in reverse. But why use induction when you could probably have electrical contacts on the hinges?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...